Miami Heat and NRG have announced a business and clean energy partnership that brings the basketball team a new sponsor while transforming the existing East Plaza at the AmericanAirlines Arena into a solar pavilion. The partnership will provide the Heat a long-term advisor on sustainable energy solutions for the venue.
Speaking exclusively to Stadia, John Vidalin, executive vice president and chief revenue officer for the Heat Group, said: “The solar pavilion NRG has designed for AmericanAirlines Arena will serve many purposes.
“First, it will breathe new life into the East Plaza, an uncovered and under-utilized outdoor space that is otherwise at the mercy of South Florida’s sun and unpredictable rain. Activating the East Plaza provides a unique opportunity to bring the in-arena experience outside where the views of Biscayne Bay and the Port of Miami are absolutely stunning.
“Next, the solar array installation will allow us to activate a new outdoor space for fans and corporate partners while providing an energy efficient solution. Finally, the solar pavilion is a visually appealing design, which adds a modern architectural flair to our facility and helps us remain a vibrant and ever-evolving entertainment option.”
The new pavilion will be dotted throughout with circles spanning 16 to 24ft in diameter and will appear to be sky lights, but are actually translucent solar panels utilizing building integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) solar technology. The new solar panel-integrated pavilion is set for completion in November 2015.
The solar pavilion announcement follows news last month that the AmericanAirlines Arena has become the first sports and entertainment facility in the world to receive LEED Gold recertification. LEED is the US Green Building Council’s leading rating system for designing, constructing and operating the world’s greenest, most energy-efficient, and highest performing buildings.
“Being awarded LEED Gold recertification by the US Green Building Council was a prestigious and unprecedented designation for a 15-year-old facility—of which we are extremely proud,” continued Vidalin. “Like achieving LEED Gold, the solar array project will be another example of our unwavering commitment to our community and the environment.”